Regulations for insulation and smoke alarms

Changes to tenancy laws aim to make homes warmer, drier and safer for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders without imposing excessive bureaucracy or cost.

New requirements

Legislative changes to require insulation and smoke alarms to be in all rental properties came into force on 1 July 2016. Landlords must meet these requirements before 1 July 2019.

Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016

These changes affect those who:

  • rent privately
  • live in social housing
  • are a private rental or social housing landlord.

Full details of the new requirements for insulation and smoke alarms in all residential tenancies can be found on the Tenancy Services website.

Additional Requirements

The new healthy homes standards add additional insulation requirements for rental properties, effective from 1 July 2021 for private rentals and from 1 July 2023 for all Housing New Zealand and registered Community Housing Providers houses.

Landlords who install new ceiling and underfloor insulation to comply with the current insulation requirements for rental homes will not need to carry out further work on that insulation to comply with the healthy homes standards, as long as the insulation remains in reasonable condition.

Use of foil to insulate properties is banned

The installation and/or repair of foil insulation in residential properties is banned.

A ban on installing and/or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings with existing electrical installations has been declared under the Building Act 2004.

It's an offence under the Act to breach this ban and anyone who breaches it may be liable to a fine of up to $200,000.

Building Performance — warnings and bans on building products

Published: May 18, 2020